(AP) — Lottery officials announced Friday that a married man in his 30s from a wealthy Phoenix suburb has claimed his half of the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot, deciding to collect the winnings now and not next year because of the nation's looming fiscal cliff.
The man decided to remain anonymous after he bought $10 worth of tickets and kept the winning slip in the visor of his car overnight before realizing he was a multimillionaire.
He gave $20 to the cashier of a Fountain Hills convenience store, and the clerk nudged him to spend the entire amount on tickets. He declined the offer.
After the man and his wife learned of their good fortune, the husband pulled together a team of financial advisers and decided to take all of his share this month to avoid potentially higher taxes in 2013, said Karen Bach, a lottery official.
The unidentified winner later issued a statement that said: "It is difficult to express just how thankful we are for this wonderful gift. We are extremely grateful and feel fortunate to now have an increased ability to support our charities and causes. Obviously, this has been incredibly overwhelming and we have always cherished our privacy."